Phone: (306) 373-5311
160 pages, index, bibliography, paper, 6 x 9 winter 2013
Awards in 2014: the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book at the Manitoba Book Awards and the Manitoba Historical Society Margaret McWilliams Scholarly Book Award
In order to interpret and implement a treaty between the Crown and Canada’s First Nations, we must look to its spirit and intent, and consider what was contemplated by the parties at the time the treaty was negotiated, argues author Aimée Craft. Using a detailed analysis of Treaty One – covering what is today southern Manitoba – she illustrates how Anishinabe laws (inaakonigewin) defined Treaty One negotiations and opened the door to a “gathering of spirit.” Those laws included the obligations and responsibilities that derive from the relationship to the land, the need to wait for all participants before negotiations began in order to respect their jurisdiction and decision making authority, and the rooting of the treaty relationship in kinship, including references to the Queen as a mother. These legal concepts and many more are examined in this book with the author illustrating how the terms of Treaty One were defined by such principles. Anishinabe laws (inaakonigewin) defined the settler-Anishinabe relationship well before the Treaty One negotiations in 1871 – for example the Selkirk Treaty of 1817 which in part laid the groundwork for Treaty One. While the focus of this book is on Treaty One, the principles of interpretation apply equally to all treaties with First Nations.
Aimée Craft Biography
Aimée Craft, B.A. (L.-Ph.) (University of Manitoba), LL.B. (University of Ottawa), LL.M. (University of Victoria), is an Indigenous lawyer from Manitoba. She recently completed an interdisciplinary Masters in Law and Society at the University of Victoria. Her thesis is entitled Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty and focuses on understanding and interpreting treaties from an Anishinabe inaakonigewin (legal) perspective.
In her legal practice at the Public Interest Law Centre, she has worked with many Indigenous peoples on land, resources, consultation, human rights, and governance issues. She is chair of the Aboriginal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and was appointed to the Speaker’s Bureau of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Indigenous Peoples and Governance Graduate Research Scholarship.
Her pro bono work includes participation in the development of Federal Court Practice Guidelines for Aboriginal Law Matters, including Oral History and Elders Evidence. She is a sessional lecturer and research affiliate at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law, and has lectured at other universities and presented at conferences in the areas of consultation and accommodation, treaties, Indigenous laws, language rights, and Aboriginal and treaty rights. In 2009, she successfully argued on behalf of language rights advocates in the first entirely French hearing at the Manitoba Court of Appeal.
Aimée is proud of her ancestors, their legacy, and the teachings they have gifted to her and others. She is especially thankful for her family — immediate and extended — and for the land she belongs to.<
Table of Contents
Introduction:Treaty Interpretation and Implementation:Entwined Disconnection
Part One: What Came Before Treaty One
1/ Skilled Negotiators and Diplomats:The Anishinabe and Indigenous, Fur Trade, and Crown Treaties
2/ Manito Api — this “Piece of Land”: Treaty Making with the Indians of Manitoba
Part Two: Making the Stone Fort Treaty
3/ The Anishinabe at the Stone Fort: The People that Belong to this Land
4/ Building on Stone Foundations: Relationships and Protocols
Part Three: Anishinabe Inaakonigewin
5 /Gizhagiiwin: The Queen’s Obligations of Love, Caring, Kindness and Equality
among her Children
6/ “The Land Cannot Speak for Itself”: Relationships To and About Land
Part Four: Living the Treaty
7/Implementing the Treaty: Outside Promises and Post-treaty Disputes in the Immediate
Conclusion:Re-kindling the Fire: Finding and Embracing the Spirit and Intent
of Treaty One Today